How To Talk Without Being Stupid

Bad Communication From Businesses

Quick test, which says it better?

  1. “I wish you would proceed henceforth to leap into a large body of lake water, thereby ridding me of you!” Or
  2. “Go jump in a lake”

Easy test right? Here’s the point… If you have something to say, say it.

Many big businesses (and the SME’s who copy them) don’t do this, especially in marketing. They prefer to use overly complicated words and phrases and technical terms that they’re market doesn’t understand. It’s called corporate speak and it’s stupid.

‘Corporate speak’ doesn’t work in the ‘real world.’ No one reads it. It makes your content long and boring (a bad combination). It makes you seem irrelevant to the market (which NEVER speaks that way), It makes your words hard to remember (very bad for marketing).

What you should do is forget about sounding clever.

An impressive vocabulary is great, but not necessary and sometimes counter-productive. I’ve read almost 2 books a week for about 4 years now so I know a few words most might not – but guess what, you’ll never find them in my marketing material.

Whether in writing, designing or presenting, remember this – The purpose of your marketing is to persuade, not impress. Ask this question…can the simplest, least educated person in my market easily understand my message?

If the answer is no, start again.

So next time, instead of “to whom it may concern…we sincerely regret any inconveniences caused”, try, “sorry, we messed up”.

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